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1. Environmental Health and Safety
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2. Essentials of Business Law and
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3. Real Process Improvement Using
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4. Natural Capitalism: Creating the
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5. The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration
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6. Hubbert's Peak : The Impending
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7. Accident Prevention Manual: Environmental
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8. The Ultimate Resource 2
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9. Environmental Management: Readings
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10. Making Your Move to One of America's
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11. Natural Resource and Environmental
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12. Environmental Law (4th Edition)
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13. Environmental and Natural Resource
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14. Motion and Time Study for Lean
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15. What Matters Most: How a Small
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16. Our Common Future (Oxford Paperbacks)
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17. The Skeptical Environmentalist:
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18. The Consumer's Guide to Effective
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19. Plan B: Rescuing a Planet under
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20. Balancing Nature and Commerce

1. Environmental Health and Safety Audits
by Lawrence B. Cahill
list price: $115.00
our price: $115.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0865878250
Catlog: Book (2001-06-28)
Publisher: Government Institutes
Sales Rank: 94606
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Book Description

This expanded edition of Environmental Health and Safety Audits brings you up-to-date on changes in EPA and OSHA auditing policies, issues currently confronting auditing programs, and state-of-the-art strategies for managing and conducting audits. The author discusses new developments in information generation and availability, including new chapters on meeting ISO 14000 auditing guidelines, auditing dilemmas, and auditing tips, and new tools for building a successful audit program, including seven model program stages. ... Read more


2. Essentials of Business Law and The Legal Environment
by Richard A. Mann, Barry S. Roberts
list price: $142.95
our price: $142.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 032415478X
Catlog: Book (2003-06-06)
Publisher: South-Western College/West
Sales Rank: 120127
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This text offers complete coverage of business law and its environment in a non-technical, straightforward, and learner-friendly style. Cases are summarized by the authors and integrated throughout chapters.Legal issues and court decisions are carefully explained with a minimum of legal jargon. Most important, Essentials of Business and The Legal Environment covers all required business law topics for the CPA exam. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Business Law Explained for the Intelligent Layman
I was given this book for free by someone who had used it for a college course and didn't want it. I couldn't believe the person wanted to throw it away. This book tells all the basics of business law. If you don't know anything about business law, read it. It is a good book for beginners. I know I will keep it for a reference book for a long time. I am starting my own business and I refer to it all the time. Not only does the book tells just about everything you need to know about business law, it gives actual descriptions of court cases to illustrate the points of each section. A very good buy & an excellent reference book! ... Read more


3. Real Process Improvement Using the CMMI
by Michael West
list price: $69.95
our price: $69.95
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Asin: 0849321093
Catlog: Book (2004-02-25)
Publisher: Auerbach Publications
Sales Rank: 145758
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This book presents readers with non-academic, real-world approaches to process improvement using the CMMI. The author provides concepts and techniques for CMMI-based process improvement which are as effective as they are innovative. Professionals at all levels - from system engineers to CEOs - will find a wealth of practical guidance and new ways to look at model-based process improvement that have already benefited large and small organizations in a variety of environments. Using plain language and enlightening illustrations, the author identifies the most critical concepts of the CMMI, and how to turn those concepts into real process improvement.This book provides readers with key information that will significantly benefit all CMMI process improvement efforts including:"How to discover and understand the business goals and drivers for a successful process improvement initiative"An understanding of the structures and practices many organizations already have in place that can accelerate process improvement, even before they begin using the CMMI"Planning and managing the process improvement project"Innovative, untraditional yet highly effective and proven strategies for CMMI-based process improvement"A thorough debunking of many of the costly and wasteful myths surrounding CMMI-based improvement ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gutsy and Honest approach to Process Improvement!
Finally, a refreshingly honest approach to CMMI and process improvement. Michael has an uncanny ability to see into the heart of organizational psychology and points out the real reasons for attempting any improvement or organizational change. He strips away the hype surrounding CMMI and focuses on what's really important...obtaining results and improving the bottom line. It might be considered contrarian or even heretical by those making a living by selling CMMI, but I call it practical, gutsy and honest. A must read by any organization considering change regardless of the model chosen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unexpected gem - read before leaping!
If you're expecting a book that shows how to implement the CMMI, or even one that gushes about its benefits you're in for a surprise. Yes, this book does show how to achieve process improvement by using the CMMI as a model, but it differs greatly from the recipe approaches of similar books that will have you marching over a cliff instead of improving your organization. The author does this by uncovering fallacies and the blind paths the CMMI (or any process improvement initiative) represents.

Here's what to expect from this book, and why you should read it cover-to-cover before embarking on a CMMI implementation or other process improvement initiative. How to spot and avoid common pitfalls such as:

- focusing on the process instead of the benefits, which of course, can be counterproductive when the process itself is applied blindly and without regard for real efficiency.

- avoiding the 'when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail' effect; i.e., attempting to apply the CMMI to everything

- mis-diagnosing problems with the process and applying the wrong solution; for example, scope creep in a project causes a reaction that often results in claims that the requirements management process is broken when the real problem is a lack of discipline or standards (not the same as a process)

Besides showing what does not work, and forcing you to look at your real goals before embarking on a CMMI implementation or process improvement initiative, the author leads you through a realistic appraisal of your goals and objectives, and shows you how to accomplish them. He is a strong proponent of using a systems view, and shows how to apply systems thinking principles to achieving your goals and objectives. This is the real value of this book, and why it's a sanity check for any organization that is about to embark on any improvement initiative.

Of course, if you are going to implement the CMMI, in whole or relevant parts to improve your capability, this book provides a clear roadmap for doing just that. Do not let my previous remarks lead you to believe that this book is anti-CMMI because it's not. It's merely anti-unrealism.

Regardless of your end goals, much of the material in this book applies to any activity, from strategic planning to process improvement to embracing a methodology. It's one of the best books I've read, and one that anyone contemplating CMMI should read before they read anything else about that model. ... Read more


4. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution
by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
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Asin: 0316353000
Catlog: Book (2000-10-12)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 4103
Average Customer Review: 4.35 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Natural Capitalism is a MUST READ for MBA's, CEO's, Politici
Throughout this extensively researched book, the three authors (Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins) eloquently describe the mind-set required of businesses that wish to evolve their models of business successfully into the next millennium.

By providing a mix of real-world examples, coupled with logical extensions to the philosophies that have dominated main stream economic theories for the majority of the 20th century - the authors allow us to peak through the curtain - to catch a glimpse of what the world will be like in 50 years time.

Natural Capitalism espouses a vision of a world where long term profit is the driving force behind global strategy, where 'whole system thinking' dominates rather than simplistic compartmentalised agendas.

We have only just discovered the technologies that allow us to assess the impact of the techno-industrial systems which we have grown over the past 150 years. With a little imagination, and a lot of logic Natural Capitalism gently points out the way forward. Toward a trajectory where the (re)application of such systems can construct a new environment, together with the economic opportunities and rewards that come from such an evolution...

This a must read book for all entrepreneurs, businessmen, politicians, researchers, economists, environmentalists, educationalists in fact just about anybody who wishes to live both comfortably, profitably and in harmony during the next century. It argues for an extension to the economic theories that pervade organisational thinking, for a more realistic assessment of the life cycle costs involved in business processes, and above all for a more realistic assessment of the value of natural resources.

This book will help you think. This book will help you live. This book will help you work. This book will help add value to your life... READ IT!

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Darwin
As this new century begins, if there is only one book which everyone on the planet should read, it would be Natural Capitalism. Why is it so important? In my opinion, because it provides the most convincing, the most compelling argument in support of Wendell Berry's assertion that "what is good for the world will be good for us." Darwin's concept of natural selection becomes irrelevant if there is no environment in which such selection can occur. The authors introduce us to "The Next Industrial Revolution" with all oif its emerging possibilities. In subsequent chapters, they continue to examine natural capitalism in terms of "four central strategies": radical resource productivity, biomimicry, service and flow economy, and investment in it. According to the authors, natural capitalism "is about choices we can make that can start to tip economic and social outcomes in positive directions. And it is already occurring -- because it is necessary, possible, and practrical." For me, the information provided in Chapter 3 was almost incomprehensible in terms of the nature and extent of waste. Of the $9 trillion spent every year in the United States, at least $2 trillion is wasted annually. How? For example: Highway accidents ($150 billion), highway congestion ($100 billion in lost productivity), total hidden costs of driving (nearly $1 trillion), nonessential/fraudulent healthcare ($65 billion), inflated and unnecessary medical overhead ($250 billion), and crime ($450 billion). All of this waste can and should be reduced, if not eliminated. What the authors present, in effect, is a blueprint for the survival of the planet. All manner of statistical evidence supports their specific recommendations. Unless "The Next Industrial Revolution" succeeds in implementing those recommendations, natural capitalism will eventually be depleted ...and no one left to regret its loss.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not the environmental economics bible people seem to think
Natural Capitalism suffers some fatal flaws, while not a complete waste of time, not a book to read if you want great ideas that can make it out of the ivory tower. While claiming to provide a path for evnvironmental and social justice, this book blithely ignores the actual impacts of its ideas on the lower classes as well as the prevalence and tenacity of international monetary and banking organizations. While touting that having people pay for rental on material goods, or pay for the service they supply, rather than purchasing the item(such as washing machines) will reduce the number of them in landfills each year, he is ignoring that ultimately someone is going to be owning the machines and therefore holding the capital investment. Those who pay for the service(sound a lot like going to the laundrymat?) will simply be throwing their money into the maintenance of the company's capital investment. The authors further ignore that most countries outside the first world have their economics and politics dictated by international monetary regulations. While this book does present some instances of environmentally friendly ideas and archtecture, such as a banking building in Amsterdam, they do not provide the scripture that most people seem to feel they do. Further, they are basing environmental sustainability off technology such as photovoltaic cells, which do provide cleaner energy by process than oil or coal, but contain heavy metals that are put back into the environment as toxins and require large scale mining and smelting technology to produce. Ultimately, I thought this book was geared more toward engineering social response through the pocketbook, which the U.S. government already does, than a study in environmental econimics within the capitalist framework.

1-0 out of 5 stars Nothing new Here
I find that this book fails to live up to expectations as
the authors are treading old water. Their idea of
Radical Resource Productivity, is already happening and
is a natural progression, sometimes taking longer than
we would hope, but nonetheless inevitable. They seem more
interested in Social Engineering than Economics, and simply
make observations about things already taking place, while
sprinkling in some projections for good measure.

If you're looking for ideas read Fuller's Critical Path, written
in 1981. His ideas are original and groundbreaking for the
time. Reading Natural Capitalism, I honestly felt like I was
attending a lecture given by people lauding mother nature.

I agree with their ideals and think that by and large many of the
methods can be implemented, over time, but the book isn't ground
breaking, and it fails to truly discuss economic factors, which
are so crucial to the success or failure of these methods. The
bottom line is there isn't enough practical discussion of the
factors holding these methods back. If there were it might be
possible for the authors to cut through them. Too often there are
economic factors holding companies back from making improvements
they may be fully aware would help them. That is one reason these
changes take time, lack of capital (not natural).

I think the authors are dreaming of a future that could
not possibly unfold as easily and seamlessly as they entail.

5-0 out of 5 stars A new lease on life
Paul Hawken and the Lovins have teamed up to provide one of the best overall books on "Natural Capitalism" which offers a whole new approach to the way in which we do business. For too long we have taken natural capital for granted, squandering our natural resources and unleashing an unhealthy array of by-products which have further contaminated our world. It is time to add natural capital to the ledger sheets, properly balancing our record books. But, far from being a screed the book is meticulously researched with extensive notes and references to help guide your own research into the subject.

Everything from the Toyota Production System, which offered a leaner, much less wasteful approach to auto manufacturing, to the Hypercar which offers a hybrid-electric propulsion engine which would result in much greater fuel effeciency are illustrated. It is this lean thinking which the authors think will revolutionize the industrial sector, making for the greatest breakthroughs since the microchip revolution.

What is most heartening is that major companies such as Ford Motor Company and Carrier Air Conditioning are adopting these practices and making them work. They are doing so because it saves money and provides them with endless growth possibilities. The authors support the lease-use system which puts the onus on the manufacturer to produce better products and maintain them throughout their service to the user, the so called "cradle to cradle" concept. New materials are resulting in much lighter and more efficient components that would reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and in time phase out petroleum products all together.

Too good to be true you might say, but this is the shape of things to come once we get past the tired old dogmas that have greatly limited our economic potential. The authors show how regressive tax policies and federal subsidies have greatly handicapped our productivity and they encourage political leaders to rethink the way we hand out incentives for better business practice. This book will give you a whole new lease on life, and encourage you to rethink the way you live. ... Read more


5. The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability
by Paul Hawken
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0887307043
Catlog: Book (1994-08-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Sales Rank: 10979
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Paul Hawken, the entrepreneur behind the Smith & Hawken gardening supplies empire, is no ordinary capitalist. Drawing as much on Baba Ram Dass and Vaclav Havel as he does on Peter Drucker and WalMart for his case studies, Hawken is on a one-man crusade to reform our economic system by demanding that First World businesses reduce their consumption of energy and resources by 80 percent in the next 50 years. As if that weren't enough, Hawken argues that business goals should be redefined to embrace such fuzzy categories as whether the work is aesthetically pleasing and the employees are having fun; this applies to corporate giants and mom-and-pop operations alike. He proposes a culture of business in which the real world, the natural world, is allowed to flourish as well, and in which the planet's needs are addressed. Wall Street may not be ready for Hawken's provocative brand of environmental awareness, but this fine book is full of captivating ideas. ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Someone's gotta do it
It seems some are skeptical of Hawken's book because his ideas are too radical and no one will actually adopt his idealist suggestions. But this is the first book I've read that has made concrete suggestions that please both the business world and the environment. Yes it's radical, but the world is soon going to require radical solutions. I loved this book and admire his ingenuity.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice try, but simply not enough
Don't get me wrong: I agree with the vast bulk of this book. Yet Paul Hawken's attempt at a new vision of corporate behavior and business ethics is more mirage than masterpiece.

I have two main criticisms of this otherwise eloquent book. First, although Hawken bravely tries to bridge the ideological gap between his two different audiences (the rapacious businessman and economically-uninformed environmentalist), he ultimately has to pull punches on both fronts; this is okay for political compromise, but not for building vision or revealing "inherent" truthes (which seem to be the book's aims). Second, and more important, the book has almost no helpful detail, either for policy or for corporate behavior. Perhaps I'm really just complaining that the book is too short, but a call for Pigovian taxes and a vague yet comprehensive overhall of business philosophy does not a vision make.

But read the book anyway, since there's little else out there in this vein (though I recommend When Corporations Rule the World, David Korten). ;-)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Resrorative Economy
The Ecology of Commerce is a fascinating book that changes your view on the way business should be run. Using interesting facts and analogies, he describes the restorative economy, a new way to transform buisness to better suit the environment. Incorporating the ideas of others, he presents a good idea of where we are now and where we have to go, and equally distributes responsabilities to business, politics, and citizens as a whole. The book is well written, although it does tend to ramble and jump around at a few places. Hawkin's propositions are probable, if not extremely possible, and could solve many of the problems we face in the everyday world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, especially the second time around
When I first tried to read this book, I didn't even get past the first chapter. But when I picked it up again almost a year later, I absorbed it like a sponge. Even when I interviewed the president of a sustainable business for my website, SustainableWays.com, I found that the same thing happened to him. The fact of the matter is, this is an excellent book, but it's also somewhat of a pragmatic call to arms. It wasn't till I'd explored and developed my ideas about the environment and resolved to do something about it that I could fully appreciate this book. For someone who's still exploring their position on these issues, Paul Hawken's prescriptions for action will probably seem irrelevant and premature. But if your ideas are ripe and you're ready to put them to work, The Ecology of Commerce is an invaluable resource.

Before I read this book, I used to think that business and the environment were inherently at odds. But then I realized that this doesn't have to be the case. According to Hawken, the problem lies in our economic system's design, and no amount of management or programs is going to change that. In order to make things better, we're going to have to rethink our economic structure, and in that possibility is where Mr. Hawken finds hope. As he so eloquently put it:

"To create an enduring society, we will need a system of commerce and production where each and every act is inherently sustainable and restorative...Just as every action in an industrial society leads to environmental degradation, regardless of intention, we must design a system where the opposite is true, where doing good is like falling off a log, where the natural, everyday acts of work and life accumulate into a better world as a matter of course, not as a matter of conscious altruism." (Hawken, p. xiv)

The Ecology of Commerce is dedicated to envisioning such a system, and discussing how we can get from here to there. The restorative economy contemplated by Hawken may seem like a long shot, but he demonstrates that it IS possible because his approach is to work WITH natural processes, not against them. That not only includes those processes existing in ecosystems, but also the ones present in ourselves, like our unique ability to innovate. You see, what makes these ideas inspiringly hopeful, and what I love most about this book, is the author's willingness not just to acknowledge the way things really are, but also to use them to our advantage. For example, he's smart enough to know that any system, program, or law that asks people to sacrifice happiness, comfort, or convenience ISN'T sustainable because ultimately, it just won't work. "Humans want to flourish and prosper," he explains, "and they will eventually reject any system of conservation that interferes with these desires...[A sustainable society] will only come about through the accumulated effects of daily acts of billions of eager participants" (Hawken, p. xv).

This is the kind of book I'd encourage you to buy if you are even remotely concerned about the state of our environment, which is intimately tangled with our own. On a personal level, it's one of the most motivating books I've ever read--in fact, its concepts form the foundation for my website, SustainableWays.com. My copy is now riddled with highlighter marks, astericks, and dog ears. It's just one of those books you come back to again and again and again, every time learning something new.

5-0 out of 5 stars Line your pockets and your clouds
As a portfolio manager, teacher, and economist I canb whole-heartedly say this is a must read.

The concept is simple. Everyone has a misconception that profits and capitalism come at the price of environmental destruction. This divides the issue into sides. But it's a myth. We can make money and restore the the biosphere fairly easily. It will create jobs, increase quality in the economy, increase market efficiency, and change our end-of-the-pipe focus on pollution.

The criticism that seems to apear on this book most often is that there is a lack of detail on how to execute a cohesive vision. I think this misses the point. The author does suggest a few macro-level actions in adopting Pigovian taxes and rethinking trade agreements. But for the most part, he makes a good case for things we can do as individuals. No one person will change everything overnight... but we can be a part of the solution. ... Read more


6. Hubbert's Peak : The Impending World Oil Shortage
by Kenneth S. Deffeyes
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
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Asin: 0691116253
Catlog: Book (2003-08-11)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 8492
Average Customer Review: 3.76 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production would reach its highest level in the early 1970s. Though roundly criticized by oil experts and economists, Hubbert's prediction came true in 1970.

In this revised and updated edition reflecting the latest information on the world supply of oil, Kenneth Deffeyes uses Hubbert's methods to find that world oil production will peak in this decade--and there isn't anything we can do to stop it. While long-term solutions exist in the form of conservation and alternative energy sources, they probably cannot--and almost certainly will not--be enacted in time to evade a short-term catastrophe. ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars The wolf is at the door
Deffeyes hits the nail on the head when he clearly details what petroleum industry insiders already know - it's not "if" global oil production will peak, it's "when." After years of warning about the imminent demise of cheap oil supplies, experts are now splitting hairs about whether or not inexpensive oil production will peak in this decade or the next. The author's easy-going, occasionally humorous prose makes the bad news easier to take, but either way, a serious global oil crisis is looming on the horizon.

Deffeyes energizes his readers by sweeping us easily through the denser strata of the complexities and developmental progress that built "Big Oil," but he also warns of relying on technology to save us in the future. Unlike many technological optimists, this life-long veteran of the industry concludes that new innovations like gas hydrates, deep-water drilling, and coal bed methane are unlikely to replace once-abundant petroleum in ease of use, production, and versatility. The Era of Carbon Man is ending.

A no-nonsense oilman blessed with a sense of humor, Deffeyes deftly boils his message down to the quick. Easily-produced petroleum is reaching its nadir, and although they are clean and renewable, energy systems like geothermal, wind and solar power won't solve our energy needs overnight. "Hubbert's Peak" represents an important aspect of the energy crisis, but it is only one factor in this multi-faceted problem that includes biosphere degradation, global warming, per-capita energy decline, and a science/industry community intolerant of new approaches to energy technology research and development. An exciting new book by the Alternative Energy Institute, Inc., "Turning the Corner: Energy Solutions for the 21st Century," addresses all of the components associated with the energy dilemma and is also available on Amazon.com.

Anyone who is concerned about what world citizens, politicians, and industry in the United States and international community must do to ensure a smooth transition from dependence on dangerous and polluting forms of energy to a more vital and healthier world, needs to read these books. Future generations rely on the decisions we make today.

4-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any serious energy analyst
Ken Deffeyes, a colleague of M. King Hubbert, has written a critical book which tells the reader that global oil production will peak in the next decade. Hubbert, a geophysicist employed at Shell, first predicted in 1956 that US oil production would peak around 1970. This has come to pass. Using the same basic analytical methods for global oil production, Deffeyes makes a strong case as to why global oil production will peak in 2004-2009 timeframe. Certain variables can delay the peak in oil production but the peak is inevitable. All of this is neatly laid out in Chapter 1 and presented in detail in Chapter 7 & 8. The remainder of the book is a background in oil exploration and production and some discussion about alternative sources of energy.

Far from being an environmentalist or policy wonk, Deffeyes, as an oil professional and academic, has clearly outlined the implications of Hubbert's peak for our hydrocarbon-based society. Unfortunately, the short-sighted politicians and policymakers in Wasghington will not want to seriously debate this issue. Instead policies to support America's insatiable hunger for SUV's (and other waste) will continue until an energy supply crisis hits home.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative And Well Written
Kenneth Deffeyes is a former Shell oil geologist and also a former Princeton University professor (now emeritus) so he brings a lot of expertise to the subject of the world oil supply, and at which point supply can't keep pace with demand. He cites often the famous 1956 prediction in which another Shell geologist, a M. King Hubbert, who in a paper said oil production in the United States would peak in the early 1970's, and it sure did peak, in the year 1970, and has been declining ever since. Hubbert used some statistical tools in his analysis, and for this new analysis of the world oil production peak Deffeyes draws on the work of the late Hubbert and with the addition of more up to date statistical tools. Deffeyes says that we have discovered most of the oil that is in the ground, and that drilling deeper will yield only natural gas, the reason for this is fascinating. He also says that it takes about 10 years to bring a new oil field into production, so the expected shortfall of the supply of oil Deffeyes predicts somewhere between the years 2004 and 2009 is inevitable. He also says no major oil fields have been discovered in many years and it is unlikely that another Middle East sized oil field still remains undiscovered, to save us from a bidding war for the remaining oil. The year 2009, according to Deffeyes, is the last possible year that the peak in world oil production will occur.

This book is full of wisdom and much humor, it is not a stodgy old book, it was a page turner for me. Deffeyes in one chapter says we have paid too much attention to the 'dot com' companies and how many people think our economy can run well by just selling software, etc, back and forth among ourselves, and that we should pay more attention to fundamental activities which are agriculture, mining, ranching, forestry, fisheries, and petroleum. This book is also very informative from a geological standpoint, how oil is trapped in rock layers and how it is drilled for production. Deffeyes says fossil fuels are in a sense a one time gift of nature and if we are wise this fuel will get us to the age of renewable energy. The Green River oil shale formation in the western United States is mentioned in this volume, Deffeyes states that it is roughly equal to all of the world's conventional oil, but at the present price of a barrel of crude oil it is not economical to use at this juncture. Natural gas is also mentioned and may be used more extensively in the future, as well as geothermal energy and a few others. He also says we need to get over our phobia with nuclear energy, I agree with that.

But as for the basic prediction here of a permanent oil shortage somewhere between 2004 and 2009, Deffeyes does mention that a worldwide recession could affect the time of the shortage, and we are in a worldwide recession as I type this. In addition, I saw on the news that the Russians are ramping up their oil production and this could also affect the year of the shortfall, but nevertheless whether the shortfall occurs in 2004 or 2009, or 2015, it does appear that a shortfall is coming and we should be preparing for it, at least on an individual basis if our governments aren't doing much.

2-0 out of 5 stars Yikes - Somebody get Mr. Deffeyes a Ghost Writer!
While I tend to agree with some of what Mr. Deffeyes concludes, I have to say he did a woeful job of presenting a case for his conclusions. Other authors have done much better making a case for the obvious end of rising oil production.

Deffeyes' writing style is atrocious. He constantly digresses and hopelessly abandons the reader in a morass of minutiae and gaps in written explanations. Most of the book does not even directly address his title. Too much of the book is a disjointed "explanation" of oil industry geology ... "stream of consciousness" petroleum geology/statistics if you will. It is as if he dictated the book, and didn't bother to have it proof read to see if anyone could follow his ramblings.

I would have given the book one star except for the fact that there are some usefull and understandable explanations in the book. If you are a fanatic on this subject, it may be worthwhile trying to read it. Otherwise, there are many other more persuasive, well written books on the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
When a wise old codger of rural roots warns you in humble fashion, "Pardon me, sir, but I dare say you're headed down the wrong road!" something tingling there on the back of your neck warns that you'd better listen. Even more so when the old-timer has risen beyond his oil-patch roots to become a Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Kenneth S. Deffeyes doesn't have to impress anybody, and perhaps that's one reason he has written a book on oil that will never give you that scratchy sensation of wool being drawn over your eyes. Deffeyes returns to his Oklahoma City roots to point out, as any fellow atop a tractor or toting a pipe wrench might, that things just can't keep going up and up forever. The difference: Deffeyes has a lifetime of industry and academic experience behind him. So, how real is the coming energy shortage? Well, put it this way: We highly recommend this book only to those individuals and companies who rely on electricity or the internal combustion engine. Stone age denizens need not sign up. ... Read more


7. Accident Prevention Manual: Environmental Management, Second Edition
by Gary R. Krieger
list price: $103.95
our price: $103.95
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Asin: 0879122099
Catlog: Book (2000-09-01)
Publisher: National Safety Council
Sales Rank: 346093
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8. The Ultimate Resource 2
by Julian Lincoln Simon
list price: $45.00
our price: $36.45
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Asin: 0691003815
Catlog: Book (1998-07-01)
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Sales Rank: 223824
Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Arguing that the ultimate resource is the human imagination coupled to the human spirit, Julian Simon led a vigorous challenge to conventional beliefs about scarcity of energy and natural resources, pollution of the environment, the effects of immigration, and the "perils of overpopulation." The comprehensive data, careful quantitative research, and economic logic contained in the first edition of The Ultimate Resource questioned widely held professional judgments about the threat of overpopulation, and Simon's celebrated bet with Paul Ehrlich about resource prices in the 1980s enhanced the public attention--both pro and con--that greeted this controversial book.

Now Princeton University Press presents a revised and expanded edition of The Ultimate Resource. The new volume is thoroughly updated and provides a concise theory for the observed trends: Population growth and increased income put pressure on supplies of resources. This increases prices, which provides opportunity and incentive for innovation. Eventually the innovative responses are so successful that prices end up below what they were before the shortages occurred. The book also tackles timely issues such as the supposed rate of species extinction, the "vanishing farmland crisis," and the wastefulness of coercive recycling.

In Simon's view, the key factor in natural and world economic growth is our capacity for the creation of new ideas and contributions to knowledge. The more people alive who can be trained to help solve the problems that confront us, the faster we can remove obstacles, and the greater the economic inheritance we shall bequeath to our descendants. In conjunction with the size of the educated population, the key constraint on human progress is the nature of the economic-political system: talented people need economic freedom and security to bring their talents to fruition. ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderul celebration of the human mind.
The title of this book refers to the human mind. When people are free, and when secure private property rights exist, and when consenting individuals are free to enter into voluntary contractual agreements, and when government activity is limited to proptecting these freedoms and property rights, then human existence will exist in its best possible state.

Julian Simon uses huge amounts of facts, evidence, data, and empirical evidence to show that the overpopulation doomsayers have been wrong about all of their predictions. For example, throughout the 20th century, the average per-capita calorie consumption for the world has been going up. In addition, throughout the 20th century, the real prices of natural resources have been going down, which means that these things have become more abundant.

The problems of hunger and poverty that exist in places such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh are not caused by overpopulation. Instead, these problems are caused by political factors. Thus, reducung the populations of these countries will do nothing to improve the quality of life for the inhabitants of these countries.

Hong Kong is the most densely populated country in the world. And it is also one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Several decades ago, Hong Kong was a slum. But then it adopted a free market economy. As a reult, Hong Kong became wealthy. If countries such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh would adopt free market economies, then they would become wealthy, too.

Julian Simon placed a very high value on the human mind. And it shows in this book. This book is a celebration of life. Julian Simon held a very deep love for the human race. He will be missed by many people.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good good
Despite the two negative reviewers who seem to have missed the entire point of the book, this is the most influential and important book I've ever read.

To address the biologist's concern, farmland is a commodity and more of it can be made in less space using technology. Common sense and Simon both dictate that replacement commodities don't need to be the same as the original - if you can't imagine a farm in a skyscraper, then perhaps you can't solve the world's food problems but I'll bet someone can and will.

For the anti-capitalist, Simon VERY CLEARLY advocates democratic, people-friendly governments for everyone, and equally clearly shows that it is the lack of political stability and civil freedoms that has caused much of the so-called "third world's" inequity and deplorable conditions. And I have visited the third world and the slums of Washington, D.C., and have lived and volunteered in very poor parts of Chicago in the past. I don't think that adopting poor practices here will help developing nations or our own problem-ridden parts.

I have recommended this book to almost every person I know, and have bought and given away a good number of copies as well. I'd encourage you to do the same.

4-0 out of 5 stars The world is complicated
I have not read the full book, but from what I have read Simon has a strong Economist's view.

The main reason I read the sections of the book that I did was that I was evaluating the world3 model that appears in the book Beyond the Limits and Limits to Growth. Simon correctly points out that world3's simulation of nonrenewable resource is unrealistic because it ignores the ability to substitute one resource for another and ignores the information that price can convey. This of course is expected from an economist since any econ 101 class will discuss substitution of one good for another and the fact that demand will decrease if the cost goes up.

On the other hand, he often ignores the complexity of the problems that others do address. For example, he states that the amount of agricultural land is not a problem, since an area the size of downtown Houston could feed the world. What he igores is how many resourses such as energy, fertilizer, etc would be required to do that (hint, more energy than the world produces). World3 got that part right, since it correctly predicted that humanity would still have enough food in 2000, however, it also predicted that substantially more nonland resources would be need to do so.

The world is complicated, and looking at it from just one perspective, such as an economist's, like Julian Simon does will give you a biased view of it. This book is useful if you want that perspective, but if that is the only perspective you have, you will be wrong.

Josh Cogliati

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great books of the 20th century
Rarely is a book written that fundamentally changed something about my worldview. Julian Simon's The Ultimate Resource 2 (UR2) is such a book. Simon's book shows that man is a born problem-solver--given enough freedom to improvise. I walk the earth today knowing a "secret" that few others know. After reading UR2, I know that humanity can resolve its fundamental problems: energy shortages, overcrowding, environmental degredation.
The only concievable critics of UR2 are the regulators and manipulators of human affairs who use their positions of power to thwart innovation throgh nanny-state governance. Simon's analysis of the realities of environmental crises is the clearest I have read anywhere. Most of what we think we know about the environment is piece-meal: one fact or another, a few anecdotes lumped together into a conclusion. We hear that the Ozone Layer is disintegrating or that acid rain is killing lakes in the Northeast, or about Love Canal or various Superfund sites. Without a larger perspective, it all seems scary. Simon blows all of the hysteria away by stating that there is only one truly valid measure of the overall state of the environment: average life expectancy. By this standard, the environment has been improving for a century. Humans are healthier, and more comfortable than they have ever been.
The Ultimate Resource 2 is itself a valuable resource that should be prominently displayed in every home library. The hours I have invested in reading it have already been paid back in the form of great stimulating conversation with other people. Simon regards human innovation as the ultimate resource, but I think that the truth is actually much more valuable and rare--and in terms of this commodity, Simon's book provides the equivalent of a pot of gold.

4-0 out of 5 stars Know Thine Enemy
Sadly, in order to understand the intellectual underpinnings of the Reagan and both Bush administrations and probably much of the Republican Party, this book is a must read. But it must be read carefully and critically. Look at the footnotes, the sources referenced and their ages.

Julian Simon, the late University of Maryland economist, devoted the last thirty-five years of his life to refuting the proposition that world population size must be limited or disaster will ensue. In the course of three dozen articles and several books he developed a detailed thesis based on his fanatical belief in the value of all human life, even potential human life, and in human ingenuity and infallibility in problem solving. The Ultimate Resource 2 is his magnum opus.

Simon's final product is a richly footnoted tour de force in the fine intellectual tradition of Rush Limbaugh. Like Limbaugh, Simon searches out the most extreme quotes from his opponents, pulls them out of context, and holds them up to ridicule. In Simon's case this process is especially aided by the advantage of hindsight: he selects quotes from sources usually thirty, sometimes fifty, and even two hundred years old.

Simon's desperation to be taken seriously and his hopeless lack of information once he steps out of his area of expertise (economics) is especially well illustrated in his Chapter 18 on "Environmental Resource Scares." Under "Definitely Disproven Threats" he lumps coffee as a cause for pancreatic cancer, cell phones as a cause of brain cancer, fluoride in drinking water, and Alar, for all of which the scientific consensus is in agreement, with asbestos, DDT, and lead, for which the scientific consensus certainly is not. In so doing Simon demonstrates a misunderstanding of the scientific process. One study, let alone one unfounded hypothesis, does not establish scientific truth, nor does one study refute it.

It does not require keen observation to note that we didn't all starve to death in the 1970's as predicted in Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb or to note that the reason was a very considerable advance in agricultural science (The Green Revolution). Simon wishes us to believe (Chapter 5) that "the overwhelming consensus of respected agricultural economists" never thought there was any danger of famine in the 1970's and that Ehrlich's prediction was purely a scare tactic. The devil is in the details. Simon's footnote for "the overwhelming consensus" of agriculture economists is that eminent scientific journal, The Washington Post. Careful inspection of the book's many footnotes reveal precious little primary source material of the type that one might expect from an economist, e.g. statistics from the Department of Agriculture. Most footnotes are to newspaper articles or the precious few authors in Simon's intellectual tradition.

Ironically, much of the progress in standard of living perceived by the well-to-do in the U.S. in the last thirty years is directly attributable to the wake-up call contained in The Silent Spring and The Population Bomb. Yes, our cars smell better, some of our lakes and streams have come back to life, and we are at least aware of impending resource problems and working on them. Simon's devotion to the triumph of human ingenuity is based on perceived trends observed in the last thirty years that owe much to the environmental movement.

Simon's thesis is thus: the environmental movement was based on bad science and bad information, the "progress" observed in the last thirty years is attributable to human numbers, ingenuity, and economics. Therefore, there never was a problem and we can all go marching merrily into future with no limits in food, space, raw materials, or energy. This is religion, not reality. That it should become the intellectual basis on which our current government functions is travesty.

YES, read The Ultimate Resource 2. But don't stop there. When you find yourself bewildered by Simon's concepts like the "non-finiteness" of resources or the idea of 500 billion human beings on this planet (there are six billion now), read the Ehrlichs' most recent work, The Betrayal of Science and Reason. ... Read more


9. Environmental Management: Readings and Cases
by Michael V. Russo, Michael, V. Russo
list price: $67.56
our price: $67.56
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Asin: 0395878179
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Sales Rank: 476932
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Book Description

Unique in its integration of cases and readings, this text seeks to increase environmental awareness, sensitivity, and literacy in students. This collection of readings and cases can be used as a supplement or a primary text and is perfect for business, government and society, ethics, strategic management, and industrial ecology courses.

... Read more

10. Making Your Move to One of America's Best Small Towns
by Norman Crampton
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 0871319888
Catlog: Book (2002-12-01)
Publisher: M. Evans and Company
Sales Rank: 437346
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For those looking to raise a family in a storybook American town, or a change of pace from hectic city life, this book is the answer. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Part of the story
This book is a good place to start if you're thinking of moving to a town of 15,000 or less. It will point you to many interesting communities. However, having used his previous book to guide my last move, and as a resident of one of the towns highlighted in this book (Grinnell), I can honestly say that data only carries you so far. Crampton could provide readers with a great benefit by lengthening the amount of description and flavor for each town. In particular, one key element missing is the 'dynamic' of a town: is it progressive? conservative? excited about education? quick to vote down taxes and bonds? These elements form the 'culture' of a small town, and believe me, the culture of a small town will be *very* important to you!

3-0 out of 5 stars A good guide to start
As a resident of one of the 120 "best small towns" recommended by Norman Crampton, I was delighted to see Silver City on the list.

While Crampton's book is a good place to start your search for small town living, it is important to realize that each small town offers a unique personality. Some generalizations simply do not apply to Silver City. For example, it is not necessary to join a church (or country club) in order to fit in here. Even a small community like ours has diverse sub-populations: recent retirees, most of whom have some affinity for the arts; old-timers, most of whom are the conservative church-goers Crampton describes; and Hispanic families, many of whom have worked in the mines.

These groups rarely interact, although we usually get along very peacefully. We also have a number of folks who teach at the university -- and we rarely see them around town.

To learn about Silver city, you won't get much information from the Chamber of Commerce or the editor of the newspaper. You'd do better to spend some time hanging out at the AIR cafe, talking to whoever comes in. The morning and afternoon groups are quite different and everyone is friendly.

The author gives some nuts and bolts about each small town. Unfortunately, with the exception of weather, much of this information will change by the time the book is printed. And your decision may well be made by factors that can't be added up.

The best part of the book is the section on economics of small town living. Here, he's right on. You have to budget for travel to a large city now and then. Air travel will be more costly and you need time to drive to a large airport. His view of housing prices seems optimistic. If you move to a desirable city (such as Silver City) expect to pay more for a house than he allows.
And if you move to retire, your economic picture will be quite different. Many newcomers to Silver City are beginning a second career as an artist or writer. Moving without a job is scary -- and I do not recommend it unless you fit the profile I describe in my own book, Making the Big Move. ... Read more


11. Natural Resource and Environmental Economics (3rd Edition)
by Roger Perman, Michael Common, James Mcgilvray, Yue Ma
list price: $98.00
our price: $98.00
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Asin: 0273655590
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Sales Rank: 499392
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Book!
I first met the book in the uni library. Having been teaching natural resources and environmental economics, I find this intermediate textbook with is useful and worthy of recommendating for those postgraduates who have strong interests in theoretical exploration. Since almost all textbooks in the market are elementary and are not suitable for the advanced readers, this book with new approaches has been increasingly used in the uni. However, this book does not pay enough attention to environmental policy. This should be considered by the authors when the third edition is composed. ... Read more


12. Environmental Law (4th Edition)
by Nancy K. Kubasek, Gary Silverman
list price: $75.00
our price: $75.00
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Asin: 0130668230
Catlog: Book (2001-11-16)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 525391
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars astonishing
I go to Harvard law school and I have found this book to be helpful in my field of study. Although i also study criminal justice law I have now become interested in environmental and this book has been impressive. This book is a life saver. It was classy and sophisticated. Please go buy this and I hope to see some new challenging faces at Harvard. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is an outstanding book.
I've used this book in two seated classes and one online course on environmental law. If you want a glorified HAZMAT course or have decided that the way our legal system actually operates doesn't matter, then look elsewhere. This is not a science book (nor should it be). If you want a text that students find easy to read and that provides comprehensive coverage of environmental law and our legal system, this is your book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Book!
I've used "Environmental Law" by Nancy K Kubasek and Gary S. Silverman in two seated classes and one online course. It is an outstanding text for describing the parameters of our legal system to students. Those to want a glorified HAZMAT approach to environmental law (or want to ignore the legal system) might not like the book. I love it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Limited value
The author of this books is an attorney who does a fairly good job with the big picture but not very well with the science. If you're only looking for a quick study of the structure of environmental law in the U.S., which is about one-third of this book, it's readable and informative. It also uses language and structure that's accessible for advanced high school and lower division college students in giving and overview of the U.S. legal and regulatory system for the environment. The author creates a good historical context for these discussions. However, the book begins to lose its polish when the author ventures into discussions of the science behind the law. I noted several points where the presentation of the science was clearly poorly informed (ozone and global warming, nuclear and alternative engery). If you're only looking for an general introduction to environmenal law, this book will get you started. But, if you want to get a good idea of the science that drives environmental law, keep looking. ... Read more


13. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Sixth Edition
by Tom Tietenberg
list price: $112.67
our price: $112.67
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Asin: 020177027X
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Sales Rank: 95492
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars Out of Date
The book is hopelessly out of date. Although it carries a 2003 publication date, it still refers to the USSR and Czechoslovakia in the present tense. It consistently refers to studies done in the 1980s as recent and less than 25% of the examples, charts. etc. use data from 1990 or later. For example, only 5 out of 37 references in the chapter on Economic Justice are more recent than 1990, and the most recent is 1994. This is typical of just about every chapter. One gets the feeling that the publisher never reviewed this revided edition.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good for Graduate School
I used this book for graduate school. Its a textbook and little more. But, it is a well written textbook.

5-0 out of 5 stars good
goo ... Read more


14. Motion and Time Study for Lean Manufacturing (3rd Edition)
by Fred E. Meyers, Jim R. Stewart
list price: $93.80
our price: $93.80
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Asin: 0130316709
Catlog: Book (2001-05-22)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 377661
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good content, questionable printing quality
Good explanation of traditional work measurement techniques and does discuss their application to support the "trendy" lean manufacturing techniques. As such, will help practioners of lean techniques to use a sound engineered/quantified approach. At times, seems like a commercial for author's consulting business. Page paper quality, photocopy pictures and illustrations are not professional quality. Price is questionable given printing quality.

3-0 out of 5 stars Motion & Time Study for FAT Manufacturing
Although this book has valuable information regarding traditional time and motion techniques, it does a poor job of addressing the lean manufacturing aspect. In today's dynamic manufacturing environment, the Industrial Engineer is forever pressed to increase throughput and reduce inventories rather than study time standards in infinite detail. Given these constraints, the fusion of more contemporary lean manufacturing techniques with traditional time and motion studies was severely lacking in this textbook.

4-0 out of 5 stars introduction to work study and related topics
Productivity Improvement Muda

4-0 out of 5 stars Manufacturing revolution
As time has progressed, manufacturing professionals have become more detail oriented due to the competition within the industry and also due to the high costs of production. With the concept of lean manufacturing being continuously improved, manufacturing will have a high % of efficiency. My goal is to see manufacturing processes have a 100% efficiency. This is a good book to use in undersstanding the big picture of lean manufacturing. ... Read more


15. What Matters Most: How a Small Group of Pioneers Is Teaching Social Responsibility to Big Business, and Why Big Business Is Listening
by Jeffrey Hollender, Stephen Fenichell
list price: $26.00
our price: $16.38
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Asin: 0738209023
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Basic Books
Sales Rank: 30613
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

CEO Jeffrey Hollender, whose Vermont-based company Seventh Generation is a poster child for corporate conscience, has written a brave and detailed blueprint for a new paradigm of "responsible business." Written in the dog days of Enron/Inclone/Martha Stewart scandals, Hollender's vision is passionate and panoramic. "Corporate responsibility is a broad social movement centered in the corporation as much as the anti-war movement of the 1960s was centered in college campuses."He builds a persuasive case for global citizenship, with in-depth analysis of case histories (For example, the "peace pops" controversy after Ben and Jerry's ice cream was acquired by Unilever, the commitment to healthcare coverage during Starbuck's global coup d'etat).

Hollender borrows from best sellers such as Built to Last but he is willing to ask the tough questions: When do core values conflict with goals and commitments? Does being a responsible business really cost shareholders more money? How do corporate charters inhibit social responsibility? How can reputation become a corporate pressure point?His answers are provided in seven approaches to social responsibility. Each defines new metrics to define prosperity, environmental stewardship and corporate citizenship. For example, he unpacks the strategy of "transparency" in descriptions of Challenger explosion, the embedded journalists of The Gulf War and the SARs epidemic.Sometimes these powerful strategies are swamped in an overabundance of examples, sources, or acronyms of activists groups. But Hollender's comprehension shows us the forest and the trees. --Barbara Mackoff ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
This is an insider's stroll through the confusing and ominous woods where the beasts of economic reality meet the lambs of social responsibility. Author and corporate survivor Jeffrey Hollender (who wrote this with scribe Stephen Fenichell) clearly admires the cast of socially responsible companies, such as Ben & Jerry's and The Body Shop. He covers the informal history of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement and his own troubling experiences as chief of a company that saw itself as socially responsible. His presentation is heartfelt, if short on rigorous logic. He candidly discusses having his ideals challenged and trying to justify his compromises. The book labels some behavior socially responsible and some socially irresponsible, but its yardstick is not clear. For example, it condemns the use of child factory labor in developing countries, yet never expresses awareness of the lack of practical alternatives for those children - perhaps starvation. The book explores both the value of the Corporate Social Responsibility movement and its uncomfortable contradictions. We recommend this trip inside the hard work of melding social responsibility with business.

4-0 out of 5 stars corporate social responsibility documentary in a book
This book provides evidence for those trying to promote socially responsible business practices, hope for those feeling disillusioned and inspiration for those trying to put the business community back on to a sustainable foundation. It is comprehensive, informative, and a great book for anyone looking to "green business" as a way of working all the time, not just an ideal to be gabbed about at cocktail parties.

Hollender identifies the real heroes and heroines of today's CSR movement - those people taking strong stands, putting their wallets and mouths where they claim their values to be.

If you have any interest in changing the way business relates to the rest of society so we all can see a better future, get this book!

- John Renesch, author, Getting to the Better Future

5-0 out of 5 stars People who have read the book and commented:
This is corporate social responsibility up close and personal.
Through the experiences of real executives and entrepreneurs,
Hollender and Fenichell show that social responsibility is not just a slogan but a way of doing business. The authors are clearly sympathetic to their subjects, but they do not blanch when it comes to controversy and debate. Readers will appreciate their realistic take on the challenge of merging financial success with social commitment in today's global economy. A good read with practical lessons for anyone in business.
Prof. Lynn Sharpe Paine - Harvard Business School

In a readable and optimistic manner, Jeffrey Hollender defines the need for both small businesses and large corporations to practice social responsibility. Then, he takes the next step in offering practical ways to reach this goal.
Nell Newman, Co-founder and President of Newman's Own Organics

This is an important book, not only because Jeffrey describes the shift going on in society making responsible corporate behavior an imperative, but why it is that consumers, employees and non-profits play a critical role in keeping corporations "honest" - this book is a must read, for the business person as well as the consumer - governments will never do this because they are economic governments, businesses will never do this on their own because they are incapable of truth, it is the ethical consumer, the vigilante consumer, that will make this happen. This book is really really relevant.
Anita Roddick - CEO The Body Shop

Our environment is a direct result of how we design our things and how we get them. Without leadership and social responsibility from business, we will fail in our efforts for a better environmental future. Jeffrey Hollender represents the next wave of environmental leaders - people who produce visible examples of how we need to do things and show artistry in pointing the way to better design.
Peter Bahouth - former Executive Director of Greenpeace

In What Matters Most, Jeffrey Hollender and Stephen Fenichell persuasively demonstrate that it is not only possible to run a profitable and socially responsible business, but that it is vitally necessary for the future of our planet
Tensie Whelan - Executive Director, Rain Forest Alliance

Jeffrey Hollender has been a pioneer in the world of environmentally proactive business for over 15 years. . He has shown that doing the right thing does pay off both in terms of building a brand that generates great customer loyalty and a business that has consistently generated superior growth. Now if I can only get my supermarket to stock the seventh generation line.
Ben Cohen - Ben and Jerry's

I just received a copy of What Matters Most. I must admit I was skeptical that it would be a good read, as much of the CSR literature strikes me righteous and irrelevant. I have to admit I was wrong. I loved your book! I really like both the effort you made to talk directly with so many key players, and your analysis of each interview. Even if the latter is usually "yes and no," I got the sense of a serious and consistent analysis. I got a good sense of business people really struggling with difficult questions. I also carefully noted mentions of the interplay of business and government, which were interesting and enlightening to my interests.

I've read a number of visionary business books now -- including Cradle to Cradle, Natural Capitalism and Midcourse Correction. They are excellent books on the nuts and bolts of innovation, but leave me feeling, How are these lovely ideas going to be implemented society-wide? I got more of a sense of the big picture from your book.
Bill Sheehan Product Policy Project ... Read more


16. Our Common Future (Oxford Paperbacks)
by World Commission On Employment
list price: $19.95
our price: $19.95
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Asin: 019282080X
Catlog: Book (1987-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 178217
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1983, the U.N. General Assembly created the World Commission on Environment and Development, an independent committee of twenty-two members, headed by Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Prime Minister of Norway. Designed to examine global environment and development to the year 2000 and beyond, the commission seeks to reassess critical problems, to formulate realistic proposals for solving them, and to raise the level of understanding and commitment to the issues of environment and development.

Rather than presenting a gloom and doom report about the destruction of natural resources, Our Common Future offers an agenda advocating the growth of economies based on policies that do not harm, and can even enhance, the environment. The commission recognizes that the time has come for a marriage of economy and ecology, in order to ensure the growth of human progress through development without bankrupting the resources of future generations. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but . . .
While the topic of this text, sustainable development, is interesting, the text is not.The first chapter provides most of what is necessary to understand the commission's findings.The 300+ pages which follow are filled with too many examples, which disrupts the flow of the book. ... Read more


17. The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World
by Bjorn Lomborg
list price: $27.99
our price: $17.63
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Asin: 0521010683
Catlog: Book (2001-08-30)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 4190
Average Customer Review: 3.46 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Bjørn Lomborg, a former member of Greenpeace, challenges widely held beliefs that the world environmental situation is getting worse and worse in his new book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. Using statistical information from internationally recognized research institutes, Lomborg systematically examines a range of major environmental issues that feature prominently in headline news around the world, including pollution, biodiversity, fear of chemicals, and the greenhouse effect, and documents that the world has actually improved. He supports his arguments with over 2500 footnotes, allowing readers to check his sources.Lomborg criticizes the way many environmental organizations make selective and misleading use of scientific evidence and argues that we are making decisions about the use of our limited resources based on inaccurate or incomplete information. Concluding that there are more reasons for optimism than pessimism, he stresses the need for clear-headed prioritization of resources to tackle real, not imagined, problems. The Skeptical Environmentalist offers readers a non-partisan evaluation that serves as a useful corrective to the more alarmist accounts favored by campaign groups and the media.Bjørn Lomborg is an associate professor of statistics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Aarhus. When he started to investigate the statistics behind the current gloomy view of the environment, he was genuinely surprised. He published four lengthy articles in the leading Danish newspaper, including statistics documenting an ever-improving world, and unleashed the biggest post-war debate with more than 400 articles in all the major papers. Since then, Lomborg has been a frequent participant in the European debate on environmentalism on television, radio, and in newspapers. ... Read more

Reviews (276)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lomborg is skeptical of agendas
Lomborg educates the reader about using statistics to arrive at conclusions in a political environment. His book operates at the levels of statistical methodology and analysis. Method requires using the best available data, including both the data points that support and detract from the thesis, and plotting the data in every way that makes sense.

His premise is that most of the statistical analyses put forth by environmentalists support an activist agenda. Support the Kyoto Protocol to stop global warming. Eliminate pesticides. No frankenfoods. Swap your SUV for a bicycle. Don't eat meat. Put a high tax on gasoline because we are running out of oil. His observation is that advocates often tend to use sloppy statistics to support radical positions. They incite fear that things are getting worse, whereas by almost any statistical measure life on earth is getting better in almost every way.

After presenting his methodology, Lomborg looks into the trends for world hunger, illness and mortality, pollution, depletion of natural resources and energy sources and global warming. Statistics in large measure disprove a number trends that we have been lead to fear: the increase in the incidence of cancer and infectious diseases, air and water pollution and the health risks associated with pesticides. Though statistics support other trends such as the hole in the ozone layer, extinctions, fossil fuel depletion and global warming, Lomborg finds that the extent of the problem, the projected direction and scale, and the threats are often terribly overblown.

Lomborg observes that statistics about the environment are inevitably politicized because they feed a political process. What problems need to be addressed, how do we address them, and how much and whose money do we use to do it? Above than that there is a question of whose values will be imposed on the society. Will we outlaw frivolous consumption just because it wastes our resources?

A key conclusion, certainly not original with Lomborg, is the need to impose a calculus on the value of human life. Because legislators act out of fear rather than fact, some environmental regulations cost $20 billion per life saved while others cost virtually nothing. While savings lives is certainly good, the obvious conclusion is that far more lives would be bettered by choosing the cheaper options, and in fact more good might result from spending a sum like $20 billion on education rather than the environment. Educated people live longer.

Lomborg would purport that his own agenda is to advance the understanding and use of scientific method. His statistics demonstrate he is not in the pay of the tobacco or oil companies. I think he's right, and would ask that a skeptical reader question the motivation of his detractors.

4-0 out of 5 stars Is the glass half empty of half full?
Firstly, this book is very controversial. *Mr Lomborg's basic assertion, is that the state of the world, as a whole, and human life in general, is getting better, not worse, and that the alarmist claims of some environmentalists are exaggerated*.

Mr Lomborg is an expert in statistics, with a background in political science. A very readable and up to date overview of the human and environmental state of the world is presented, and includes:

a) Human welfare-life expectancy, infant mortality, infectious disease rates, food availability, dietary habits.
b) future human prosperity based on measurable trends-forest cover, energy resources, non-energy resources, water availability and quality.
c) pollution issues-air, acid rain, indoor pollution, allergies and asthma, water pollution (eg Exxon Valdez and other oil spills), waste issues.
d) Future issues-chemical, pesticides, cancer rates and causes, GM foods, biodiversity, extinction, global warming-causes and consequences.

The first 2 chapters concern discussion of the more common doomsday reports, the underlying assumptions upon which some of these are based, and the problems of a sensationalist-driven media. It is obvious from these initial discussions, and what is just common sense, that selective reporting and human politics pervades environmentalism as much as any other human activity. What Mr Lomborg tries to show, is that we need to channel peoples concerns and energies, as much as possible, into real priorities concerning the environment, and not rely on the doomsday theorists to frighten us by selective use of statistics, and thus clouding issues of prioritisation.

He presents longer term trends to show how human welfare is in some ways getting much better (infant mortality, illness decline, technological advance, increased wealth, life expectancy), however some or much of this is undoubtedly due to 'environmental' achievements (such as lower pollution, regulation of food and drugs). Many environmentalists of course contend that human prosperity is occurring at the great expense of the environment in general, however Mr Lomborg's general assertion is that this effect itself is declining, not increasing, even as humans increase-(eg due to better technology, more efficient use of resources, recycling, research, alternative materials, environmental priorities, etc).

One major concern in the book is that there seems to be little express acknowledgement that the committment, energy, and scientific concern that people genuinely concerned about the environment, misguided in some instances or not, have had on the very statistics which he presents. It is implied, but not expressly discussed.

His assertion that biodiversity decline is real but grossly exaggerted is one of his more questionable assertions. He challenges the specialist biologists on this matter directly, and I think here, as in a few other cases, he is mistaken, claiming that extinction rates over the next 50 years are likely to be 'only' about 0.7%. It even seems that he uses weaknesses in his detractors arguments to support some of his assertions, eg that because we can't measure species decline in many small species for example, this means it is exaggerated. What also is not discussed, is whether some of the effects of this decline are overstated. Ecosystems are interconnected and fragile, but if a more benign species increases at the expense of a less benign species, is this desirable? Are selective pressures partially manageable?

Whilst he has made some very good points, especially with regards to human welfare (the past was never a 'golden age'), he does appear to have overstated his case with regards to more direct environmental issues (eg extinction, biodiversity, forest cover). It is important to stress that Mr Lomborg does some very good work in exposing some blatant and serious mistakes about environmental data (eg the claim that 40% of deaths are caused by pollution, that we woud run out of oil by 1992). In covering a range of difficult scientific specialities, no doubt he has made some factual errors. (I can see one with regard to my field of geology-there is no mention of the problem of rate of extraction of oil shale/tar sands). But the point is not trivial mistakes, but broad themes, are things getting worse or better?-well it really depends on what you are referring to.

Some people have pointed out that the material in this book will be used by those in power to further their own exploitative ends and/or maintain the status quo. Of course, unfortunately, this is true. But what this book is trying to explain, is that *these sorts of things also go on amongst those who have an active concern for the world*. It simply isn't always as obvious.

Mr Lomborg, I hope, is not about undermining the passion of those who are actively concerned about this beautiful planet. What he is about, is targetting and setting this good energy where it needs to be, in informed decision making. People like to see things in relative terms-the glass is "half full" or "half empty", but really without proper use of statistics and a good understanding of that great leveller-time-we often can't see what is 'relatively' going on. That is what this book is about-what we need to chose to do, what to prioritise, what to use and what to save-natures cup, not constraining human delusions.

3-0 out of 5 stars There is nothing to be skeptical about
This book shows concern for the earth's environment, but at the same time refutes catastrophic ecological events and processes. It's clear that both sides (environmentalists vs. everyone else) have their own agendas, which is why they argue their viewpoints as they do. So many biases based on innumerable experiences, ideologies, faiths, etc. come into play when discussing environmental issues that any debate is futile unless certain standards are set. In my view, this book is used best for studying the data provided, and making a conclusion based on your own educated reasoning - of course not until you have read the same data as interpreted by true blue 'environmentalists'. Data can be manipulated in countless ways to accommodate many viewpoints, so instead of looking at numbers in order to prove their point, I would say it's time to use some common sense, and perhaps some plain old human emotion to determine our environmental policy stances. The book itself is well written, interesting, and informative, but I wouldn't use it as a sole basis for determining an environmental viewpoint.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting debate
I have read the (book-length) debates between the author and environmental scientists, and from that I've learned a tremendous amount about the extent of our knowledge of weather and ecosystems. The most informative debate is Lomborg's point-by-point rebuttal of criticism which appeared in Scientific American. (You can find all of this on the web.) In a nutshell, the scientists do not sound very scientific.

I think there is a reason for the disgust of many scientists. Lomborg attacks the evidence of several kinds of environmental catastrophe. The scientists, on the other hand, begin from a conservative point of view in their concern for the mere possibility of irreparable damage to the earth. They are obviously correct to realize that we cannot afford to lose the earth, and we should therefore be wary of any significant perturbation made by mankind.

I believe that the scientists get angry because Lomborg refutes their favorite arguments in favor of strict environmental policies, those which purport that a catastrophe has already begun. Lomborg, on the other hand, does not understand that the strongest argument is that we can always be wrong.

We cannot afford a mistake which destroys our only viable planet, which is why we must limit the global impact of our activities. But this is not the point addresed by either Lomborg or his critics.

Lomborg has done a significant service in pointing out some flaws and biases in scientific research, but you would learn more by following the debates than by reading this large, tendentious book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Doom for the doomsayers
This excellent book illustrates that the world isn't on the verge of some "Day After Tommorrow" Apocalypse. If you need this proven to you, if you're skeptical of the skeptics, you should read this book w/ an open mind. Many environmentalists are sincere--however, many are members of a "secular" cult, reverse-evangelicals, who have a God (Mother Nature), a Devil (Man), prophets (Ehrlich, Nader), demons (Capitalists), a way of salvation (Green Socialism), and a nightmare Armageddon (when Nature takes her vengeance on man's greed). The former, the reasonable people should read this book, because they can be persuaded by Lomborg's most important thesis: that the solution to whatever environmental problems we face, will come from economic growth, not anti-industrialism, anti-globalization.

The Kyoto Treaty is not the solution, but would actually exacerbate the problem of Global Warming by restraining technological development and human employment. You want a worldwide Great Depression, put the Kyoto Treaty in practice, and then see if mankind has the collective resources to find alternative sources of fuel or, heck, build new air conditioners. Lomborg shows that as the economy grows, so does environmental problems like pollution reduce.

He also shows that the warming and cooling of the Earth is cyclical, possibly (or probably) tied to Sunspots. At the end of the Medieval Period, the earth was as warm as it is now (possibly warmer), and 1400-1900 the Earth was in a mini-Ice Age. London had worse pollution in 1700 than today. I guess you could say that the internal combustion engine is so metaphysically evil, so powerful, that it's vile emissions travelled back in time to warm the earth around 1300 and to pollute London in 1700. But more likely, the .6% increase in worldwide temperature since 1900 is the result of the workings of the solar system and not evil, vile technology. ... Read more


18. The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists
by Michael Brower, Warren Leon
list price: $15.00
our price: $10.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 060980281X
Catlog: Book (1999-03-30)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 14415
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Paper or plastic? Cloth or disposable? Regular or organic? Every day, environmentally conscious consumers are faced with the overwhelming catch-22 of a capitalist society--reconciling the harm we do by consuming, while still providing ourselves and our families with the goods and services we need. It's enough to make a city dweller crazy. Fret no more! The Union of Concerned Scientists has put together a well-researched and eminently practical guide to the decisions that matter. The authors hope that the book will help you set priorities, stop worrying about insignificant things, and understand the real environmental impacts of household decisions. For instance, you may be surprised to learn that buying and eating meat and poultry is much more harmful to the environment than the packaging the meat is wrapped in, even if it's Styrofoam. This guide takes on both sides of the consumer-impact argument, goring sacred cows of the environmentalist movement (like the strident emphasis on recycling) and the industrialist perspective (like the relentless message to buy more, more, more). If you're confused and overwhelmed by all the environmental decision-making in the modern world, you'll find new inspiration in this book. --Therese Littleton ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great practical book for the environmentally-concerned
This book, written by two PhD scientists, documents and explains what actions consumers can take to help the environment. Unlike some other books on the subject, it is not just a laundry list of ideas...The authors have built a model which attempts to assess the environmental impact of various consumer products ranging from refrigerators to diapers.
The basic conclusions are that some things are worth worrying about (e.g., what kind of car you drive and how much you drive, how energy-efficient your house and the major appliances you own are, what sort of food you eat). Others are not (e.g., "paper of plastic", cloth or disposible diapers, occasional use of disposible cups and silverware). Perhaps the best summary of the conclusions is provided by Denis Hayes (Chair of Earth Day 2000) as quoted on the back cover: "Too many people drive their Land Rovers to the grocery store and think 'paper or plastic' is a meaningful choice. [This book] will help you to distinguish the crucial from the trivial and make choices that are congruent with your values."
I found this book to be an excellent attempt to assess the environmental consequences of one's lifestyle choices. It is not the last word on the subject, of course. No such study is perfect. However, the results are cogently and honestly presented (and with good humor too). I think it sets a new high standard for discussions about how to protect the environment through your purchases.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful information for concerned but confused consumers
The "Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices" offers an excellent and inspiring look at choices that we consumers make every day in a clear, objective and interesting way. The authors offer plenty of information to help concerned folks make decisions on a daily basis, keeping in mind that most people would rather focus on several changes in lifestyle that will make a big impact rather than worrying about small or negligible actions. They also suggest steps for improving policies of local, state and national government. Excellent resources are included for further information on a number of issues, including websites. This is an empowering, extremely practical book, which I would recommend for everyone, especially well-intentioned but guilt-ridden, overwhelmed people like me.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking
This book is a guide to spending your money in a way that does less harm to the environment than the way you are spending it now. The authors began their book by undertaking a project to identify the greatest environmental problems caused by consumer activities, and find ways to measure which consumer activities cause the most damage. First, they gathered data about environmental problems, compared the data and analyzed the numbers. Through this research, they determined that the greatest environmental problems in the US related to consumer activities are air pollution, global warming, habitat alteration, and water pollution.

Having determined the greatest environmental problems related to consumption, they then looked at all the ways a household consumes, and quantified the percent of the household's total environmental damage caused by each item on their list. This enabled them to determine which items on the list are most damaging. Another way they looked at consumption was to take the average cost of each item on the list, and calculate the environmental damage associated with each dollar of expenditure in that category. This is used to find which items on the list give us the worst bang for the buck.

Based on these numerical calculations, the authors determined that the worst consumer activities that the average household engages in are cars and light trucks, meat and poultry, fruit, vegetables, and grains, home heating, hot water, and air conditioning, household appliances and lighting, home construction, and household water and sewage. With the worst activities identified in this way, they go on to make the following suggestions to address these specific items: choose a place to live that reduces the need to drive; think twice before purchasing another car; choose a fuel-efficient, low-polluting car; set goals for reducing your travel; whenever practical, walk, bicycle, or take public transportation; eat less meat, buy certified organic produce; choose your home carefully; reduce the environmental costs of heating and hot water; install efficient lighting and appliances; choose an electricity supplier offering renewable energy.

The authors also point out some non-issues, like landfill space, paper vs. plastic shopping bags, disposable vs. cloth diapers, styrofoam cups, and cotton vs. synthetic materials for clothing. In each of these cases, either the environmental harm of the item is often played up out of proportion to the harm caused by other consumer activities, or the two choices are more or less equal in terms of environmental damage caused. The authors argue that if we really want to make a difference, we need to focus our efforts on the big items, like transportation, food, and housing, rather than on these minor items. There's no sense putting a lot of effort into using cloth napkins instead of paper while ignoring the fact that you have an old water-hog clothes washer and an electric full-time water heater in a room lit by incandescent bulbs.

The authors also include a chapter on priority actions government should take to decrease damage to the environment. There is an epilogue by Susan Strasser covering the history of consumption in America, an appendix, where the authors describe their research methods and results, a second appendix providing resources for concerned consumers, footnotes citing sources of data and statistics, and an index.

Overall, I found the book quite interesting. In reading the appendix covering the methods and results, I am not completely convinced I agree with all of their methodology. In general though, the results the authors come to are plausible. One direction I would like to investigate next is to complete the cost-benefit analysis. In this book, the authors mainly focus on costs- -what are the environmental costs of each activity? But what if we were to focus on benefits instead, and ask, what are the environmental benefits of taking each action that they suggest? For example, if all Americans gave up their private cars and trucks tomorrow in favor of public transit and bikes, the environmental benefits would be obviously tremendous. But what would happen if all Americans became vegetarians tomorrow? How would the environmental impact shake out then? It would be interesting for the authors to do a follow-up study that quantifies potential environmental improvements based on each type of consumer action aimed at reducing environmental costs. These results could be compared with the costs of the associated actions to the consumers in terms of money and time. Then we would have even better answers about prioritizing our actions aimed at lessening our environmental load.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and easy to apply in your life
This books is very good and gives clear updated information about what are the choices you can take in your life to avoid causing bad consequences to the environment.

They can easily be applied in your life, often saving you money too.

I feel that people need to be educated about the consequences and repercussions that their daily choices and lifestyles can cause. It is essential to realize that our children will not be able to live in the same beautiful environment we grew up into, if we don't revise our wasteful, egocentric and inconsiderate behavior.

Also check their web site, http://www.ucsusa.org/
a lot of information there as well.

Roberto

4-0 out of 5 stars You really CAN make a difference!
If you're like me, you feel overwhelmed at times with environmental problems: global warming, water depletion and pollution, ozone alerts, animal waste runoff, garbage, plastic, etc. etc. So much seems to be broken that it's difficult to figure out what to begin fixing--especially when you're just an average consumer. Where to begin? And even if you do begin, can you really make a difference?

The virtue of this *Consumer's Guide* is that the authors help us separate the urgent from the not-so-urgent, the easily doable from the this'll-take-more-time-and-effort. They pinpoint three major areas in our consumption in which we can make immediate changes that really do impact for the better on the environment: vehicle usage, how we heat/cool our homes,and what we eat. Almost all of us use our cars more than we need to, and a growing number of us have vehicles much larger than we really need; all of us can do better about insulating our homes, cutting down on electricity, and using environmental-friendly appliances; and we don't really need to eat as much meat as we do--growing food animals is a colossal waste of grain protein as well as a major water and air polluter.

Just as handy, the *Consumer Guide* gives tips for social and political as well as individual action. Changing one's own behavior is essential; but building coalitions with others and putting pressure on corporations and the government to be more eco-responsible is essential too.

Finally, Susan Strasser's concluding essay, "From Walden to Wal-Mart," a reflective analysis of our consumerist culture, is by itself worth the price of the book. Very nice indeed!

So get this book, read it, and take hope: you CAN make a difference! ... Read more


19. Plan B: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble
by Lester R. Brown
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393325237
Catlog: Book (2003-09)
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Sales Rank: 26687
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A bold new plan for those concerned about rising temperatures, population projections, and spreading water scarcity.

Lester Brown notes that if the environmental trends of recent decades continue, the global economy will soon begin to unravel. The food sector, he believes, is the most vulnerable. Record-high temperatures and falling water tables are already taking the edge off grain harvests in some countries, including China, the world's largest grain producer.

The wake-up call will come, Brown believes, when 1.3 billion Chinese consumers with an $80 billion trade surplus start competing with Americans for U.S. grain, driving up food prices. Rising food prices could create political instability in low-income countries, disrupting global economic progress.

At that point, it will be clear that business as usual—Plan A—is not working. In Plan B, Brown outlines a World War II-type mobilization to stabilize climate by restructuring the global energy economy and to stabilize population by investing heavily in health care, family planning, and the education of girls in developing countries. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good science is not discredited by bad science
An important contribution to the environmental debate. I was suprised by the critical review below that gives 1 star to Plan B and cites "The Skeptical Environmentalist" by Bjorn Lomborg as a refutation of Brown's work. Readers of that review may not be aware that "Skeptical" has been discredited, refuted and rejected by the scientific community. Critical reviews of Lomborg's book can be found in leading science journals, including Nature, Scientific American and Science. The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty issued a decision that declared Lomborg's research "to fall within the concept of scientific dishonesty," and to be "clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice." (Lomborg is Danish). Readers will not be persuaded by references to junk science coming from an anti-environmentalist.

1-0 out of 5 stars Rescuing a planet from nonsense
Lester R. Brown is a well known and totally discredited doomsayer and environmental crackpot. His analyses and prophecies (consistently proven wrong) are based on crude number doctoring and misunderstanding of basic biology, economics and statistics. And while one might argue that debating his views is a waste of time, he and his likes have a loud and fairly influential following. For a more balanced and sane description of the state of the world, read for example the books by Julian Simon, and Bjorn Lomborg's "The Skeptical Environmentalist".

5-0 out of 5 stars I agree with that person, buy 10 and pass them out.
Wow, after reading this book, I am left speechless. I read this book in conjunction with a Native American Studies class that I took, and I have never learned more terrifying facts in my entire life. Lester Brown, although he admits that the task is too great for one book, describes bluntly the thin line our species is walking between self preservation and self destruction. He does not pull any punches in describing how the human race is pushing Earth dangerously close to its breaking point. Brown outlines the clear reality that if trends continue the demand put on the environment by humanity will overtake its carrying capacity. He makes many interesting points but he also stays true to the title of the book, not only spreading blame, of which there is plenty to spread, but also offering possible solutions to the most important of problems. I thought I was environmentally conscious before I read this book, boy was I surprised. This book brought my environmental consciousness to a whole new level. It also unfortunately made me realize that unless the rest of the world gets on the same page as Brown in a hurry, the environmental damage will be irreparable. I'll agree once again with what that other reviewer said. Read this book and buy 10 copies to hand out.

5-0 out of 5 stars A species out of control?
Lester Brown recently wrote Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth in which his thesis was that "the environment was not part of the economy...but instead that the economy was part of the environment." (p. xv)

Here he presents an upbeat and positive plan for saving the world from the consequences of what he calls the planet-wide "bubble economy." His central argument is that we are about to face a food shortage of crisis proportions as our aquifers and rivers run dry. The relative price of food, which is directly dependent upon ready water supplies from underground and through the diversion of rivers, he argues, is about to skyrocket as China and other grain-hungry nations begin to import grain.

His plan B is a combination of interventions that would include environmental tax reform, that is, taxing products in terms or their true cost including pollution and the use of non-renewable resources. Thus the consequences of pollution-induced illnesses like asthma, etc. be factored into the cost of gasoline. In this way non-polluting energy sources such as windmills and solar energy cells would become cost-competitive with fossil fuels almost immediately.

The first half of the book is devoted to describing the problem, which he calls "A Civilization in Trouble." The second half is devoted to his Plan B which includes adopting "honest global accounting," stabilizing the population, and raising land productivity. He wants not only to shift taxes from the environmentally sound ways of doing business to the ecologically harmful ways, but to shift the subsidizes that many countries now give to fossil fuel producers and to fishing and logging industries to environmentally safe products and industries. He points out that it is foolhardy to subsidize the destruction of our environment as we are now doing.

Brown quotes Oystein Dahle, former Vice President of Exxon for Norway as saying: "Socialism collapsed because it did not allow the market to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow the market to tell the ecological truth." (p. 210)

A striking example of what Brown means by shifting taxes comes from former Harvard Economics professor N. Gregory Mankiw, who wrote: "Cutting income taxes while increasing gasoline taxes would lead to more rapid economic growth, less traffic congestion, safer roads, and reduced risk of global warming..." (p 214)

Incidentally, Brown asserts that rising temperatures adversely affect crop yields. He notes that crops are grown in many countries "at or near their thermal optimum, making them vulnerable to any rise in temperature." He cites a study by Mohan Wali at Ohio State University showing that photosynthesis increases until the temperature reaches 68 degrees F. and then plateaus until it hits 95 degrees whereupon it begin to decline, and ceases at 104 degrees. (pp. 62-63)

The problem with his solution is that, as Brown points out, the body politic, especially that of the United States, must take action to implement the changes. Unfortunately, President Bush, who represents corporate interests (as most American politicians do), will continue to call for more studies, and nothing will be done. More particularly, taxing destructive practices will only work if all (or at least a substantial majority) of the countries of the world cooperate. Polluted air, acid rain, depleted aquifers, and rivers run dry cross borders. Consequently we have a daunting task in front of us.

A crucial psychological problem is that our instincts were honed in the pre-history when the resources of forest and savanna were effectively inexhaustible, where it didn't matter how much we burned and polluted since we could just move on. Our numbers were so small relative to the land that it would renew itself as we were despoiling other lands. With six billion-plus people on the planet there are no "other lands" and there is no time for the land to renew itself. We can no longer toss our waste over our shoulders, defecate in the stream, and slash and burn.

This is just one respect in which we have to ask, are human beings as presently evolved able to cope with the modern world? The tribal mentality, with its violence toward outsiders and toward the environment, is still with us, but the tolerance of the environment for such behavior is not. The myth of the noble savage and indigenous people living in harmony with nature needs a reality check. We are savages in headsets, neither noble nor ignoble. We are indigenous people whose lands have gone the way of the Garden of Eden. We are clumsily and incompletely adjusting to a different landscape: the modern world.

The race is on. Which will come first: our adjustment to the needs of the planet or the collapse of our great civilizations? Note well it is the needs of the planet that come first. Note also that the collapse of our civilizations will usher in a period of immense pain and suffering, even for those of us sitting atop Mount Olympus, as it were, in our garden homes sheltered from the storms in our inner cities and in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

A great deal of human suffering can be averted by anticipating the consequences of globalization, of diminishing resources resulting in diminishing returns. But it is also true that a great deal of human suffering can be averted by not doing something stupid that may have unintended consequences. We must use our abilities and our knowledge to choose between the two. Lester Brown is trying to help us do that. This book is a fine introduction to the problem and to a possible solution.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required reading
This book is in three sections - the first part provides facts, figures, charts and tables to define the problem; the second part - Plan A - projects the future under the business as usual scenario; the third part - Plan B - is Brown's recommendations of what we must do. The problem has the following components:
- over the last 50 years world population has doubled, the global economy has expanded seven fold and our claims on the earth are excessive;
- we are cutting trees faster than they can regenerate, overgrazing rangelands, over pumping aquifers and draining rivers;
- soil erosion of cropland exceeds new soil formation;
- we take fish from the oceans faster than they can reproduce;
- we are releasing CO2 into the atmosphere faster than nature can absorb it, creating a greenhouse effect raising the earth's temperature;
- habitat destruction and climate change are destroying plant and animal species faster than new species can evolve.

Throughout history man has lived on the earth's sustainable yield but humanity's collective demands surpassed the earth's carrying capacity in 1980 and by 1999 exceeded carrying capacity by 20% creating a global bubble economy. "The sector of the economy that seems likely to unravel first is food. Eroding soils, deteriorating range lands, collapsing fisheries, falling water tables, and rising temperatures are converging to make it more difficult to expand food production fast enough to keep up with demand. In 2002, the world grain harvest of 1,807 million tons fell short of world grain consumption by 100 million tons, or 5%. This shortfall, the largest on record, marked the third consecutive year of grain deficits, dropping stocks to the lowest level in a generation." Trying to fill the 100 million ton shortfall, feeding an additional 70m people each year, reducing the number of under-nourished and rebuilding stocks is likely to further deplete aquifers, increase erosion and raise food prices. Farmers face two challenges - rising temperatures and falling water tables. The 16 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1980 with the three warmest in the last five years and this adversely affects grain harvests, forcing traditional grain exporting countries like Canada to reduce or cease exports. World wide 70% of water is used for agriculture, 20% by industry and 10% for residential purposes. Water mining due to governments' failing to limit pumping to sustainable yield has increased pumping costs and reduced profit margins when grain prices are at a historical low, obliging many farmers to withdraw from irrigated agriculture. Industrial demands are increasing and industry can afford to pay much more for its water than farmers. Sandra Postel in 'Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last?' details a bleak picture of what is in store for us regarding falling water tables, rivers which don't reach the sea and the impact on food production. China is such a populous country that whatever happens there impacts everyone in the world. China's deserts are expanding and the US Dust Bowl of the 1930s is being reproduced there but on a much bigger scale. China's forthcoming grain deficit will force up grain prices. "Many of the most populous countries of the world - China, India, Pakistan, Mexico, and nearly all the countries of the Middle East and North Africa - have literally been having a free ride over the past two or three decades by depleting their groundwater resources. The penalty of mismanagement of this valuable resource is now coming due and it is no exaggeration to say that the results could be catastrophic for these countries and, given their importance, for the world as a whole." Many countries are living in a food bubble economy; the question for these countries is not whether the bubble will burst, but when.

The food bubble economy is just the first of the bubbles that the author explains. If we continue with business as usual - Plan A - the troubles described will continue or worsen; the world is failing environmentally and will eventually fail economically. "In sum, no one knows exactly the extent of our excessive claims on the earth in this bubble economy. The most sophisticated effort to calculate this, the one by Mathis Wackernagel and his team, estimates that in 1999 our claims on the earth exceeded its regenerative capacity by 20%. If this overdraft is rising 1% a year as seems likely, then by 2003 it was 24%. As we consume the earth's natural capital, the earth's capacity to sustain us is decreasing. We are a species out of control, setting in motion processes we do not understand with consequences that we cannot foresee."

Einstein told us that you can't hope to get out of a problem with the same thinking that got you into the problem so we cannot expect Brown's proposed solutions to be readily accepted or popular. However, they all practical and make sense. Most proposals are familiar but few holding positions of responsibility have been willing to implement them because Plan A gains more votes and today's politicians are unlikely to be around when the leaders of tomorrow have to pick up the pieces. "Plan B is a massive mobilization to deflate the global economic bubble before it reaches the bursting point. Keeping the bubble from bursting will require an unprecedented degree of international cooperation to stabilize population, climate, water tables, and soils - and at wartime speed. Indeed, in both scale and urgency the effort required is comparable to the US mobilization during World War II."

This book is not just for environmentalists; it is of interest to every housewife who will shortly see her housekeeping money pay for less and less. This book should be required reading for everyone who hopes to be alive in a few years time. ... Read more


20. Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities
by Jim Howe, Ed McMahon, Luther Propst, Edward McMahon
list price: $25.00
our price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1559635452
Catlog: Book (1997-06-01)
Publisher: Island Press
Sales Rank: 457367
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Increasing numbers of Americans are fleeing cities and suburbs for the small towns and open spaces that surround national and state parks, wildlife refuges, historic sites, and other public lands. With their scenic beauty and high quality of life, these "gateway communities" have become a magnet for those looking to escape the congestion and fast tempo of contemporary American society.

Yet without savvy planning, gateway communities could easily meet the same fate as the suburban communities that were the promised land of an earlier generation. This volume can help prevent that from happening.

The authors offer practical and proven lessons on how residents of gateway communities can protect their community's identity while stimulating a healthy economy and safeguarding nearby natural and historic resources. They describe economic development strategies, land-use planning processes, and conservation tools that communities from all over the country have found effective. Each strategy or process is explained with specific examples, and numerous profiles and case studies clearly demonstrate how different communities have coped with the challenges of growth and development. Among the cities profiled are Boulder, Colorado; Townsend and Pittman Center Tennessee; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Tyrrell County, North Carolina; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sanibel Island, Florida; Calvert County, Maryland; Tuscon, Arizona; and Mount Desert Island, Maine.

Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities provides important lessons in how to preserve the character and integrity of communities and landscapes without sacrificing local economic well-being. It is an important resource for planners, developers, local officials, and concerned citizens working to retain the high quality of life and natural beauty of these cities and towns. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A feel-good land use/planning guide
- A feel-good land use/planning guide produced by the Conservation Fund and the Sonoran Institute. Examples show how communities can work together to protect parks and environmental refuges..

5-0 out of 5 stars Balancing economics and the environment
National parks and other public lands are big, fragile, economic engines for nearby gateway communities. In this book, communities and near-by public lands sometimes play nice together. The authors conclude: " . . . successful communities have transcended the 'growth versus no-growth' wars that characterize land-use policy in many cities and towns."

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource
Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities is a must read for anyone who still believes that environmentalism and economic development are fundamentally opposed propositions. This book of case studies and analysis describes several successful ways in which communities created new jobs and economic opportunities while celebrating and protecting, rather than exploiting, their area's natural resources. ... Read more


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